UPDATE: New Rhythm & Booms location will save the city money, according to Mayor Soglin

By: Britni McDonald Email
By: Britni McDonald Email

UPDATED Wednesday, July 17-- 5:30 p.m.

Madison's Independence Day celebration now be held in the heart of the city. Fireworks will be shot off right over Lake Monona.

"Sometimes things run its course in certain locations," said Rita Kelliher of Madison Festivals.

For more than 20 years, Rhythm & Booms held its half hour fireworks show at Warner Park.

"In the last few years, there has been strong criticism of the event," said downtown Alderman Mike Verveer.

Criticism mainly came from nearby residents who were sick of the traffic and debris.

"I'm glad they moved it from Warner Park," said north side resident, Jack Hurst.

There had been a lack of enthusiasm that showed in dwindling public donations, sponsorships, and personnel.

"It's an event that is no longer able to sustain financially," said Kelliher.

The show is now moved downtown to a 1.6 mile stretch of John Nolen Drive.

"The two inbound lanes will be for people to sit," said Kelliher. "They can camp out along Law Park and enjoy the show from there."

An event that normally cost the city $100,000, Mayor Soglin said will be thousands cheaper with a full day of events backed by sponsors and Madison Festivals funding.

Madison Festivals say a larger viewing area, more accessibility, and clean up crews will resolve former problems.

"We still plan to leave a place cleaner than we found it," said Kelliher.

"We anticipate this to be a smooth event certainly smoother than at Warner Park," said Mayor Soglin.

But some remained concerned about the environmental impact.

They can go clean up after the fireworks, but the residue that sinks to the bottom [of the lake] never gets cleaned up," said Hurst.

But Alderman Verveer calls this location much more environmentally sensitive than Warner Park.

"I'm really confident that overall it will embraced by the community," said "Hopefully Rhythm & Booms will be bigger and better than ever."

If you're wondering about getting the best spot on Monona Terrace, Madison Festivals said a wedding had already been scheduled.


Wednesday July 17, 2013

MADISON, Wis.-- Madison's popular Fourth of July event Rhythm and Booms will move to downtown Madison in 2014, according to reporting done by NBC 15 news partner WIBA radio.

The official announcement will be made this morning. Alderman Mike Verveer told WIBA that the event will take place the Saturday before the Fourth of July.

Mr. Verveer says fireworks will be set off from 20 barges on Lake Monona. John Nolen Dr. will be shut down for viewing, a carnival and other festivities.

Rhythm and Booms has been held at Warner Park since it began in 1993.

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